Two sections of the Concord Banquet Hall in Lake Zurich were filled by Pro-Life supporters of the Tri-County Pregnancy and Parenting Center Thursday night.
The night was held for the purpose of replenishing the treasury of the ministry, which operates offices on the street where the McDonald’s Playland is located in Crystal Lake and in Grayslake.
Board Chairman Dennis DeMoss remembered giving the pitch twenty years ago when the group did not have the money to pay for the dinners. This year, donors picked up the tab prior to the event.
Besides pledges and donations made at the dinner, churches set out large plastic baby bottles that bring in about $40,000 a year.
And a thrift store earns $600 a week.
But expenses are high for the two locations, both of which Tri-County is purchasing, rather than renting. That saves money because under not-for-profit ownership they are property-tax exempt. There is also no hassle with landlords.
The price to operate the two offices four an half days a week is $4,300 a month.
One day is dedicated to the Spanish speaking population.
By attending classes, clients gain points to purchase items needed by babies, diapers.
One featured speaker, 38-year old Gloria Farber, couldn’t attend because she gave birth today. Her doctor concluded that the child was not getting enough nourishment in the womb and decided an early delivery would be best.
Staffers don’t usually assist with births, but one of the worker bees for the dinner had agreed to do so and when she got a call just as she was about to leave to help prepare the banquet hall’s decorations and silent auction, Farber called and said it was her time.
Since she was supposed to speak, a written statement was induced.
Farber told of having lost her job, the father being an hour away and showing little interest in her being pregnant had led her to consider “terminating the pregnancy,” as she put it.
She looked up Planned Parenthood locations, but turned to Tri-County for a free pregnancy test.
Tri-County helped her to clarify her feelings and she decided to keep the “fetus,” as she described her child.
As one who has been on both sides of the abortion issue (Pro-Choice during my 8 years in the Illinois House in the 1970’s, Pro-Life during the 8 years I served in the 1990’s), I was struck by the Pro-Choice language I heard in the written testimony.
Nevertheless, the Pro-Life servants of the Lord at Tri-County helped bring Farber’s child’s soul into the light of day.
One couple who spoke this year, Rebecca and Jonathan Brown even managed to locate a woman who would help them with a home birth, thus avoiding hospital costs.
“We didn’t go broke. We have money in the bank,” he revealed after explaining that the family’s health insurance would have still left them with a big bill had they went the tradition hospital birth route.
Another new father, Tyler Schneiderman told of his and mother Angela’s having taken every class possible to earn points.
When the birthing process began, he was pressed into service to hold his wife’s leg. He indicated that was more than he had signed on for, but there was a shortage of personnel at the hospital.
The father whose child was born at home could identify because he ended up holding the mother’s leg during birth, too.
Neither seemed to have relished the task.
Imagine my delight with Grayslake’s Lord of Glory Lutheran Church Pastor Brian Davies’ benediction was the blessing that I give my son every night:
“May the Lord bless and keep you.
“May the Lord make his face shine upon you.
“May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
He added some additional thoughts as well.
To set the stage, Davies recalled how the children of God won battles when Moses hands were held high, even when his closest followers were holding up the tired arms for him.
He told those in attendance that they were holding up the arms of staff and volunteers who served in Tri-County’s mission.
You know I look for politician types at events. This time the only one I saw was District 3 McHenry County Board candidate Mary Alger. One of Dave McSweeney’s advisors, Charlie Johnston was in attendance as well.